Dodgers Score: Pitching Falls Apart Again in Loss, Miguel Vargas Gets a Career First, Barnes Ejected
In an imperfect replay of Saturday night’s game, the Dodgers lost an early lead and just kept letting the Diamondbacks tack on runs with a barrage of hits in the 11-6 loss. Arizona hitters had 16 hits off LA pitching, which is quickly becoming a huge issue in 2023.
J.D. Martinez and Miguel Vargas were the stars on offense but the Dodgers still lose the series 3 games to 1 and fall to 5-5 on the season.
Let’s look at the few highlights for your boys in blue.
Things got off on the right foot with a Mookie Betts lead off single to start the game. David Peralta — who was batting third for the first time this season — brought him home on an RBI double — giving LA the 1-0 lead.
The Dbacks immediately got that back and scored runs in each of the first 5 innings of the game.
Oh yeah… highlights. Uh, J.D. Martinez finally got that elusive triple he’s been chasing with a run scoring three bagger to the deepest part of Chase Field, which is a stupid park when you really look at it. It would have been a homer in 23 of 30 ballparks.
Miguel Vargas later brought home Martinez on a sacrifice fly to tie the game at 3-3 for a blink of an eye. but starting pitcher Michael Grove couldn’t hold that and quickly gave up 3 more runs in the bottom of the inning. Caleb Ferguson followed and allowed 2 more runs before order was restored a bit with clean appearances by Shelby Miller and Phil Bickford.
Austin Barnes was ejected in the 5th inning for arguing balls and strikes with the home plate umpire, which was a fun blowup to watch.
Martinez added an RBI double in the 8th inning, driving in Trayce Thompson who walked hitting in Freddie Freeman’s spot in the lineup. Freddie was given the rest of the night off with the blowout in effect. In a repeat of the third inning, Vargas drove Martinez home again, this time with a triple — the first of his career.
Trayce Thompson got his first hit since his 3 home run game, driving in Will Smith with a two out RBI single in the 9th.
One final good thing, Dodger pitching did end up striking out 10 batters which means a free Jumbo Jack at select local Jack in the Box locations. More free food details here.
The Dodgers are mercifully done with the Arizona Diamondbacks for a while and move on to face the rival Giants in San Francisco for three games.
I noticed the Dodgers did not play a lot of split squad games during spring training. That meant fewer opportunities for bull pen pitchers to get short stints against live bats. And THAT could explain the early problems with the bull pen: they are just not quite ready for the start of the season.
Another not so good move was when they tried to squeeze in one more start for an ascendant Ramon Martinez before he made an All Star appearance, and sure enough, that very short appearance in the All Star game over-taxed his arm and when he came back from that All Star game, he was never the same. Very sad but as a long time Dodger fan (over 50 years), it strikes me that along with its classiness and overall excellence, the Dodger ball club does occasionally make errors in judgment in the direction of thinking they are too good to be playing by the normal rules of caution.
Just my gut sense on this. I hope I am wrong.
Pitching was seen as a problem long before the season or even spring training started. The front office just kept “whistling past the graveyard” in the hopes some miracle would happen to the pitchers they had. They’d all be healthy (they aren’t), the young guys would be able to handle Show bats (they aren’t), Kershaw would be 30 years old again (nope), and out of the “Motley Crew” in the bull pen a closer would emerge (nope).
I’m guessing between the chronic pitching woes and another ongoing Dodger pandemic of “OhferRISP” virus, third place in the west is a lock.